Friday, October 19, 2012

Sad News: Fr. Thomas Dubay

I have mentioned Fr. Thomas Dubay's publications a number of times on this blog, and they are in my recommended reading list. For me, his works have been my sanity checks and mainstay when it comes to dealing with the mystical experiences that have come my way. About two years ago, after a string of locutions and having just finished reading his book, Authenticity, I wrote to Fr. Thomas to tell him how helpful I had found that book (probably not one of his most popular because it is directed to those people who have experienced sound, voice, touch, and, as I have found over the past four years, they are not found in every pew in the church). I also told him of some of my experiences, of the details of my quest to determine their authenticity, and of some of my questions and concerns. I did not ask for a response and did not expect one. Nonetheless, a few weeks later, I received handwritten comments on my letter from Fr. Thomas, who apologized for the format but said that he had just arrived from another trip, was tired, and wanted nonetheless to respond to my note immediately. He told me that he thought that my experiences, as described, were likely authentic and why, commented on my comments, and suggested some answers to my questions. His letter gave me greater confidence in moving more deeply into contemplation and not pulling away from God at the most intimate moments.

Fr. Thomas passed away this weekend, and his passing feels like a personal loss. I will now treasure those handwritten notes even more. If you have not read Fr. Thomas's books, please find some time to do so. They are, for me, second only to The Cloud of Unknowing/The Book of Privy Counseling on the list of books to which I am addicted.

The following is from the Little Sisters of the Poor in Washington, D.C., who cared for Father Dubay during his final days; I have blatantly "stolen" (borrowed?) this information from his publisher and am certain that the publisher will be happy to have the word spread.
Rev Thomas Dubay, SM
RIP September 26, 2010

From Washington, DC:
This morning at 4:45, the Lord welcomed into His Kingdom Rev Thomas Dubay, SM, after suffering kidney failure and massive bleeding in the brain. Father’s frail health had been declining ever since his admission to the Little Sisters of the Poor home in Washington more than a year ago, but his suffering was even more noticeable in recent months. Despite this fact, Fr Dubay was just as witty as ever.

When Father’s superior, Fr. Bruce Lery, SM, called the Little Sisters on Sunday morning to tell them, he said, "We have a saint in heaven" –how true! Fr. Dubay was hospitalized about a month ago and then transferred to a rehabilitation facility for specialized treatments but his health was steadily declining. Yesterday he was re-admitted to the hospital with bleeding in the brain, and he was put in coronary intensive care. Although the ventilator was removed, he continued to breathe on his own.

Although he suffered from his loss of independence, he was happy to concelebrate Mass almost every day in the chapel of the Little Sisters Home in the shadow of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in our nation’s capital.

The Marist priests and brothers visited him almost daily, and Father depended very much on his superior, Fr. Bruce, who was always there for him. In a few words, Fr. Dubay literally practiced what he preached! Father was happy to give weekly classes to the Little Sister postulants –classes which he enjoyed as much as they! From his room, Father continued his spiritual direction with many persons who called on him and this also was extended to letter writing.

We can render prayers of thanksgiving for the wonderful support Father gave to religious communities spending a good part of his life giving conferences and retreats. Although his preaching and spiritual direction was delivered to contemplative communities, his teaching was not for them alone. Religious the world over benefitted of his spiritual wisdom and guidance for years. He will be sorely missed. May he rest in peace after leading so many souls to true spiritual peace during his lifetime! The opening prayer of today’s liturgy says it all: “Help us hurry toward the Eternal Life you promise and come to share in the joys of your kingdom”.

For more about Fr. Dubay's writings and work, see his author page at Ignatius Insight.
My note: Many have said that Fr. Thomas Dubay is one of the greatest spiritual directors and writers of our day. I believe it.


  1. May God's comfort surround you all, those who know him personally. Take care and God bless.

  2. What a sweet post on the good Father. How blessed you are to have some personal notes from him!

  3. This is a beautiful tribute to a mentor. God truly blesses us with the right people in our lives as we attempt to grow to be more like HIM.

  4. Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him and may he rest in peace. Amen.

  5. A wonderful tribute Elizabeth, and though sad I am happy that he is now at peace, with no pain and yes a Saint in heaven. I have read one of his books and seen him on EWTN a few years ago I think. He was such a mentor to you, I am sorry for your loss my friend, xo
    ...........:-) Hugs

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  7. Thanks for sharing that info about Fr.Dubay. I always enjoyed seeing him on EWTN, he really knew his 'stuff'. Blessed are you for sharing correspondence with him. k

  8. Thank you for sharing your personal experience with Fr. Dubay. What an inspiration! I look forward to reading his books in the future.

  9. May God comfort you and all who knew Father personally ans were touche d by his writings and wisdom.

  10. What a beautiful post, Betty. Thanks for telling us about Fr. Dubay. May God comfort you and all his loved ones in this time of sadness.


  11. How blessed to have such a mentor - He will live on in the wisdom He shared.

    Hugs, Patrina <")>><

  12. I feel sad listening to this new. May Thomas soul rest in peace.

  13. Many thanks to all of you for your comments. I think the saddest part of the news is that there will be no more books, newscasts, or even personal comments/insights. There are few like him. I hope God will send us more and that Fr. Thomas will receive all that he has earned. I will try to get one more post with comments up before I leave this weekend on a longer trip and one during which I will not have access to Internet. I will be back somewhere in the middle of the month, perhaps a bit earlier, depending on unfolding events.